NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks

49ers

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan defended 2020 first-round WR Brandon Aiyuk‘s lack of playing time in Week 1. In addition to mentioning a hamstring injury Aiyuk has been dealing with, Shanahan said it should say more about WR Trent Sherfield‘s performance in camp and practice earning him more playing time. 

“I know Trent wasn’t a first-round draft pick, so that might not be as obvious with the talent level, but he’s been a hell of a football player since he’s been here,” Shanahan said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “Aiyuk’s been a little inconsistent because he’s been in and out with his injury. And that’s what we felt was the best chance for us (in Detroit). Aiyuk’s still got a chance to get that spot and not rotate as much. Trent just doesn’t make that very easy.”

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports 49ers RB Raheem Mostert is set to undergo surgery to repair the articular cartilage on the top area of his knee, while the operation is considered to “almost always gives 100 percent chance of full recovery.” 
  • Rapoport mentions that Mostert, who is set to be a free agent, will be fully recovered in time for free agency in March. 
  • Shanahan said there was no disconnect between the team and Mostert on his injury: “The first prognosis (eight weeks) I got was what I told you guys (on Monday) and that’s all I got at the time. But once I heard more stuff after the press conference, it made sense. I don’t think there was much of a decision to make after hearing some of the stuff.” (Barrows)
  • New 49ers RB Trenton Cannon has an $869,000 salary cap hit, leaving the team with $5 million in cap space. (David Lombardi)

Cardinals

Rams

The Matthew Stafford era in Los Angeles opened with a bang, as the new Rams quarterback unleashed a 67-yard touchdown pass to WR Van Jefferson on his first drive of the game. Jefferson being the target was intentional, rather than reputable deep threat DeSean Jackson or established receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.  

“With our unit and how we’re hitting these plays, these deep threats, teams aren’t going to be able to key on certain receivers and be like, ‘This is their deep receiver,’ because everybody is going to be popping and making these plays, making these throws,” Woods said via the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue. “The play where I was going vertical, holding the (safety), messed with his eyes. Bad eyes. He held for a second, and Van’s running right behind him. We just make defenders play disciplined.”

Seahawks

Seahawks DE Darrell Taylor continued his strong play from the preseason into Week 1. Even in a rotational role, as Seattle has a number of competent defensive linemen, Taylor had two quarterback hits and a sack, the latter which came after he bulldozed over Colts RT Braden Smith who’s fresh of a big-money extension this summer. 

“He had a number of rushes,” Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said via ESPN’s Brady Henderson. “You can see it, when we get him with the 12s, he’s going to be 12s’ best friend now. When they can get to roaring on third down and on passing downs and get him the chance to get off, you can see how explosive he is coming off the football. He’s going to have some big games. He’ll have some big games where it’ll be really hard for people to match him up, so I’m excited about that. And it showed.”

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